Joan Roma of Spain has won Monday's eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in the car category, while Stephane Peterhansel finished fourth to keep the overall lead as the rally heads into the final week.
"Nani may have beat me, but it must have been close," Gordon said. "Beating Peterhansel by seven minutes makes this a great day. In all honesty, I did not attack too much, except towards the end of the stage. At any rate, I was not at my best in the first 300 kilometres, only in the last 150. I felt the others breathing down my neck, so I accelerated."
The NASCAR driver/owner made up siginificant ground in the overall standings. Gordon now sits second overall, seven minutes and 36 seconds back.
In the motorcycle category, defending champion Marc Coma of Spain won the stage and also took the overall lead from Frenchman Cyril Despres. Despres got stuck in mud and lost 10 minutes trying to escape the mire.
The 296-mile special stage took riders north from Copiapo to the coastal city of Antofagasta.
The rally ends Jan. 15 in Lima, Peru.